Leadership & Organizational Behavior
Chapter 14 Summary
Organizational culture consists of the values and assumptions shared within an organization. It defines what is important and unimportant in the company and, consequently, directs everyone in the organization toward the “right way” of doing things.
Elements of Organizational Culture
In the context of organizational culture, values are discussed as shared values, which are values that people within the organization or work unit have in common and place near the top of their hierarchy of values. Organizational culture also consists of shared assumptions, a deeper element that some experts believe is the essence of corporate culture. Shared assumptions are nonconscious, taken-for- granted perceptions or ideal prototypes of behavior that are considered the correct way to think and act toward problems and opportunities.
Content of Organizational Culture
▪ The relative ordering of values.
• A few dominant values
• Example: Dell efficiency and competitiveness
▪ Problems with measuring org culture
• Oversimplifies diversity of possible values
• Ignore shared assumptions
• Adopts an “integration” perspective
▪ An organization’s culture is fuzzy:
• Diverse subcultures (“fragmentation”)
• Values exist within individuals, not work units
Organizational Culture Profile Dimensions and Characteristics • Innovation: Experimenting, opportunity seeking, risk taking, few rules, low cautiousness • Stability: Predictability, security, rule-oriented • Respect for people: Fairness, tolerance
• Outcome orientation: Action oriented, high expectations, results oriented • Attention to detail: Precise, analytic
• Team orientation: Collaboration, people-oriented • Aggressiveness: Competitive, low emphasis on social responsibility
▪ Dominant culture -- most widely shared values and assumptions ▪ Subcultures
• Located throughout the organization
• Can enhance or oppose (countercultures) firm’s dominant culture ▪ Two functions of countercultures:
• provide surveillance and critique, ethics
• source of emerging values
Artifacts are the observable symbols and signs of an organization’s culture, such as the way visitors are greeted, the organization’s physical layout, and how employees are rewarded Artifacts: Stories and Legends
▪ Social prescriptions of desired (undesired) behavior ▪ Provides a realistic human side to expectations
▪ Most effective stories and legends:
• Describe real people
• Assumed to be true
• Known throughout the organization
• Are prescriptive
Rituals are the programmed routines of daily organizational life that dramatize an organization’s culture. Ceremonies are more formal artifacts than rituals. Ceremonies are planned activities conducted speci fically for the benefit of an audience.
Artifacts: Organizational Language
▪ Words used to address people, describe customers, etc. ▪ Leaders use phrases and special vocabulary as cultural symbols ▪ Language also found in subcultures
Artifacts: Physical Structures/Symbols
▪ Building structure -- may shape and reflect culture
▪ Office design conveys cultural meaning: (Furniture, office size, wall hangings)
Potential Benefits and Contingencies of Culture Strength
A strong corporate culture potentially increases the company’s success by serving three important functions: • Control system. Organizational culture is a deeply embedded form of social control that influences employee decisions and behavior. Culture is pervasive and operates nonconsciously. • Social glue. Organizational culture is the “social glue” that bonds people...
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